A total of 78 new taxi plates will be released in Western Australia over the next three months.
Seventy eight new taxi plates will be released in Western Australia over the next three months.
The release will include 30 unrestricted plates, 30 restricted peak period plates, 12 multi-purpose taxi (MPT) plates and six area restricted taxi plates.
The plates will be available through a lease arrangement from the State Government to taxi drivers at a rate below the current market average.
This is in addition to a successful tendering of 58 plates since Christmas and 183 extra taxi plates in total since 2003.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said today that demand for taxi services continued to increase dramatically on the back of the economic boom in Western Australia.
"More taxis on the road will mean better service and shorter waiting times for customers. We are serious about improving customer service in the taxi industry," the Minister said.
"Releasing additional peak period plates will ensure a safe and convenient taxi service is available for those who enjoy a night out at the end of the week.
"Making additional MPT plates available will improve access to taxi services for people with disabilities and the elderly, while the area restricted taxis are aimed at improving service in outer suburbs."
The State Government will also provide a capital subsidy to the metropolitan operators of MPTs to help offset the high costs to operators of providing taxi services to passengers in wheelchairs.
The Minister said the $8,500 capital subsidy would be provided to MPT operators who are replacing their vehicles or entering the industry for the first time.
It would be available through to June 30, 2007, after which it would be reviewed.
"MPT operators face higher cost structures than conventional taxi operators but are required to charge the same fares to their passengers," Ms MacTiernan said.
Taxi Council of Western Australia chairman Kevin Foley said the emphasis on peak periods, such as weekends, and improving services such as wheelchair access were key aspects of today's release.